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How to wrap and pack framed fine art paintings and prints for shipping

As an artist, I know how critical it is to wrap your framed artwork properly so that it doesn't get damaged when you ship it. I recently had to ship a Framed Signed Limited Edition Giclée Print of Shine from Birmingham, UK, to Orlando, USA, and I have to admit I was extremely worried about it getting knocked during transit. Fortunately it has now reached it's destination without any damage to the print or frame. Here is how I wrapped and packed Shine.

1. Replace glass with perspex.

I replaced the glass with shatter resistant perspex so that it wouldn't shatter during transportation and damage the print. Using perspex is also important when it comes to insuring your artwork. Most shipping companies, including Royal Mail, won't insure a framed piece of artwork if it has been framed with glass.

Foam Corner Protector
Foam Corner Protector

2. Use foam corner and edge protectors to cover the frame.

To protect the frame, I used foam corner protectors and foam edge protectors. I bought mine from Lion Picture Framing Supplies based in Birmingham. You can also order from them on-line.

The foam corner protectors come in packs of 4 and are available in two sizes. Size A for mouldings up to 26mm tall and size B for mouldings up to 35mm tall.

The foam edge protector strips are 2m in length and are available in three sizes. Size A for mouldings up to 26mm, size B for mouldings up to 35mm and size C which is thicker and offers more protection for mouldings up to 35 mm.

Foam Edge Protector
Foam Edge Protector Strip

The number of strips vary in each pack if you order on-line, but if you go to the trade counter you can buy the exact quantity you need.

You can also use just the foam edge strips and make the corner edges yourself, but I found it much easier and quicker combining the corner pieces and edge strips together.

I first put the corner pieces onto each corner of the frame, and then measured and cut the foam edge protector strips so that it covered the space in between the corner pieces.

Handy wrap
Handy Wrap

3. Hold all the foam corner and edge protector pieces in place using a handy wrap.

To hold all the foam pieces firmly in place I used a handy wrap. Handy wrap is a bit like cling film except it only sticks to itself, not to anything else, which is why it's so perfect when it comes to packing items.

I went around each edge of the foam covered frame about three times, so that it held the foam pieces in place, preventing them from moving and slipping off.

You can buy handy wrap quite easily. You can get them from Lion Picture Framing Supplies, and you can also find them on Amazon and ebay.

4. Wrap the print with three layers of large bubbled bubble wrap.

I used bubble wrap with large bubbles to cover the whole framed print, including the edges, because it offers better protection than smaller bubbles. I wrapped it around three times and used clear tape to secure the bubble wrap in place.

When using the bubble wrap make sure the bubbles face outwards, away from your framed artwork. This prevents the bubbles causing any damage to your artwork.

Double walled corrugated card
Double walled corrugated card

5. Put a sheet of double walled corrugated cardboard on the front and back of the framed print.

I measured and cut two sheets of double walled corrugated cardboard to fit the front and back of the framed print. This gave extra protection for the perspex and the back of the print. Using clear tape I secured the sheets in place. The print is now securely wrapped.

I found Kite Packaging offer a great selection of different sized double walled corrugated card, and they are also inexpensive.

6. Make a box for the wrapped print.

Using the double walled corrugated card, I made a box so that the wrapped print would fit perfectly in it.

I placed the wrapped print on top of a corrugated sheet and drew around it with a pencil. This gave me the outline of the print. Using a ruler I redrew the lines so that they were straight.

I then used a stanley knife along with a the ruler to cut the card, and used the blunt side of the stanley knife to score and fold the card.

Using this method I built the cardboard box around the framed print to ensure it fitted snugly, preventing the print from moving in the box.

Depending on the size of your artwork, you can either make a complete box from one sheet of double walled corrugated card, or if your art work is too large, you can make a top and bottom for it.

Here is how the outline for the boxes would look:

Templates for the two boxes


Model of box

I've made a model of the box to show you how it will look when it's made up. The inner folds fold on the inside of the box.

All the corners and edges need to be taped securely using brown packing tape. You need to make sure that the box is completely sealed so there's no chance of the box falling apart. I found you can never use too much of it!



Fragile tape

7. Mark the box with fragile tape.

Use fragile tape and put a single tape around the box, horizontally and vertically so that it's clear the box needs to be handled with care. Fragile tapes are easy to find and they are inexpensive. I bought mine from Amazon.

Once you've attached your address label, your piece of artwork is wrapped and packed, ready to be shipped. It will have a comfortable journey without getting hurt.



2 thoughts on “How to wrap and pack framed fine art paintings and prints for shipping

  1. Hi Priti,
    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to create this. It's just what I needed (i'll be sending out framed photographs but the same rules apply methinks). And I loved the little model box you made to illustrate. That's not only generous, it is just the sweetest.
    I wish you luck in everything you do.

    A fellow Brummie. Phil.

    1. Hello Phil,

      Thank you so much for your message and kind words. I'm extremely sorry for the late response, I've only just received it. I'm so happy to hear the information helped you. Your framed photographs will reach their destination safely.

      I wish you, my fellow Brummie, the best of luck with everything too.


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